View Full Version : stripping the stock, but have plastic spacers

June 27, 2010, 12:26 AM
ok, I have a winchester model 70 stock that has a nice but abused walnut stock with an ebony cap on the pistol grip and ebony tip on the fore end. The white spacers are plastic and I am looking to strip the old finish off the gun, but all my strippers say not to use on plastic. I had thought of using brake fluid since it is safe to use as a stripper on plastics, but since it is oil based it would soak into the wood and alter the finish and cause me issues later when applying tru-oil and a protective coating.

I am thinking of using (if I can find some locally) paint stripper designed for plastics, but was wondering what others have used in the past that worked well on removing paint or protective coatings on plastic parts of guns or other items.

Bill DeShivs
June 27, 2010, 12:43 AM
sandpaper works well.

June 27, 2010, 01:23 AM
see my thread on which gun to keep. it shows the pic of my model 70. right now I have the gun stripped completely apart and everything off the stock except the tip and cap. going to save the sandpaper for after the finish is off. have heard of some using acetone or thinner, but don't know if I want to. also read that easy off oven cleaner works well on the finish ( i have used it on mil-surps cleaning off cosmoline), but I am worried on the plastic spacers still. wish i had a practice stock to try on, but even really beat up stocks are expensive ( all my other stocks and stock blanks with spacers are of AAA or higher quality woods and the spacers are not plastic and not going to mess with $400 or more stocks).

Bill DeShivs
June 27, 2010, 02:13 AM
Acetone will dissolve most plastics. You could just scrape/sand that area, and use stripper elsewhere.

June 27, 2010, 02:44 AM
I agree with Bill Deshivs. Those plastic grip caps and forend caps are notorious for getting damaged in stripping. Do not use stripper on them, use sandpaper. And since I do stocks for a living (such as it is), I am speaking from experience.

June 27, 2010, 09:11 AM
I would mask off the parts you wish to protect from the stripper with masking tape, and don't slop the stripper on heavily near the masking border(s) or position/hang the stock so that the stripper can run into the masked area(s).


June 27, 2010, 10:56 AM
the spacers are the only thing plastic, the tip and cap are actually ebony stained wood. I am going down to the auto hobby shop today and see if i can find some stripper that is safe on plasitcs (or hit the auto paint store on monday). if not then oven cleaner is worth trying. if that doesn't work then I will be taping off the plastic spacers really well and just really lightly sand those areas.

thanks for all the help guys.

June 27, 2010, 01:04 PM
If it can remove the finish (a polymer) it is almost assuredly going to damage the plastic (another polymer).

There are some solvents that will not damage some plastics, but they will also not remove the finish worth a darn.

June 27, 2010, 01:16 PM
You have to sand the stock anyway , just sand the finish off the black !

June 27, 2010, 02:21 PM
go to an automotive paint store and buy some green masking tape. its a chemical resistant version of the regular stuff. and it has a high adhesive. you can cover the plastic with that and then apply a regular paint and varnish stripper carefully around those areas. i do refinish work also and this is how i would do it. and i would feel very comfortable with it.

June 27, 2010, 11:35 PM
ok, tried some eco-friendly stuff i found at lowes and it didn't work worth a darn, then I realized i still had half a can of klean strip from another project. well layed down a good coating of the stripped on the stock and let it work for about 10 mintues, i sprayed the gun down with water and the plastic spacers were still in good shape and i used a nylon brush to get at the coating on the cap and tip and also the checkering. i then taped off the tip and cap and sprayed and repeated the process a couple more times. right now i have a really good stock and still have a few problem areas that even sanding are not taking care of and i will just soak them in some citri strip gel when i get it.

on another note, do not get the stripper in an aerosol form, because if the wind shifts it will blow right back in your face. man i didn't know i could run that fast to the water faucet :eek: and I didn't even know that I ran over a rose bush until I found a couple rips in my jeans :o oh well, glad i ran out of that can and i will only use the gel stuff from now on.